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We had agreed to meet in the middle: the campus of our alma mater in Connecticut.
What we hadn’t anticipated was that because we weren’t students anymore, we didn’t exactly have a bed to call our own.
At that point, I had real feelings for him and didn't want to walk away.
(Mostly it was just nice to get acquainted with myself at such a direct angle! Before I had sex with someone with genital herpes, I needed to accept the very real possibility that I would become infected — and I needed to decide that it would be okay.
We don’t make a big deal about cold sores, so why is the same type of sore such a big deal once it hits below the belt?
Recently, someone told me that they had HPV, but nothing “weird like herpes” — to which I responded “If you’ve had sex with more than five people, chances are you’ve come into contact with herpes.” When we look past the stigma of herpes and see how common it really is, we slow down the shame train that runs over folks who have it.
If and when you meet people who further stigmatize herpes, consider shutting down the shame and spreading some education instead.